Access Vegas Insider Vibe – October 04, 2006

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Newkirk’s Notes – comments on Las Vegas from AccessVegas.Com publisher Ted Newkirk:

Hello From Las Vegas! Harrah’s Entertainment (Harrah’s, Ballys, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Paris Las Vegas, Imperial Palace, Rio Suites, and about 35 other casino properties worldwide) has received a $15.05 billion buyout offer from a couple of investment firms. This is very recent news, and not much fall-out yet. I’ll give you my take as we learn more.

In a much more interesting note, Harrah’s (the company) is going to acquire the Barbary Coast from Boyd Gaming (the people soon to blow up the Stardust and build the $3.5 billion Echelon Place on that area).

For those wanting more details and my take on how this will affect visitor room rates, you can read my recent blog post Harrahs Getting Bought Out, Las Vegas Condo Hotels Good For Visitors?

We say goodbye to Clint Holmes and the show Splash as this month begins. We’ll say more about Splash next week, but we can’t say enough about Clint Holmes. He was one-of-a-kind, in the mold of Sammy Davis, Jr. (with talent to match).

Many move to Las Vegas and simply count their money, but Clint was out and about, available for charity and always engaged in the community. He’s off to London to fulfull a life-long dream of starring in a play he’s written and we wish him all the best. We leave you with a couple of Clint Holmes tidbits to check out:

We are running our review of Gerry McCambridge – The Mentalist, but if you want to see him (and you should), act fast. He is playing at The Stardust, and the hotel does close at the end of this month. We arranged to see the show before the hotel closure was moved up, and had an internal delay as our shows writer Nancy is expecting her first child! We are excited for her, but for obvious reasons, we’ve been giving her some extra time to get assignments done to cope with the ups and downs of a first pregnancy.

Bottom Line: Go see the show if you are coming in the next month. If not, read about it here as the show is very popular and certain to find a new Las Vegas showroom soon. We’ll keep you posted!

Enjoy This Issue!

Show Review: Gerry McCambridge – The Mentalist

Reviewed September, 2006
by Nancy Dickinson

It’s plain good ol’ Las Vegas tradition to capture the awe of viewers with dynamic props, extravagant effects, unconventional talent, and unparalleled showmanship (though often an overkill). One man, however, opens doors to the hearts, emotions, and spirits of people using entertainment weapons that far surpass the need for a stage crew: His mind and the minds of those he encounters.

Gerry McCambridge, better known as “The Mentalist,” has the undeniable ability to get into the heads of any and everybody. So much so that his 20 year cerebral career journey has taken him from celebrity events to a major NBC television series to his own full blown show at The Stardust. This man knows what is going on in the head of any person at any given time, facts ranging from their specific idiosyncratic personal habits to the exact name of their very first crush…and he is so freakishly accurate. Click to Read The Full Review, Buy Tickets, Watch New Preview Video …

Larry G. Jones – The Man of 1002 Voices Show: Hilarious Clean Comedy… Dead-on Voices, combined with Singer, Celebrity, and Presidential Parodies! – More dynamic than stand-up comedy, & more legendary voices and laughs than 4-dozen impersonators! Blazing through impressions and song parodies, there can be as many as 75 voices in a 75-minute show. Larry G. Jones delivers a Fast Moving Impressionist/Comedy Show that will Amaze Every audience! Click to Read The Full Story, Buy Tickets, Watch New Preview Video …

Local Entrepreneurs Expand Empire and Release First Wine From Amplified Wines – Reggae Rhapsody Is The First Release From Amplified Wines, A Subsidiary of Rock ‘n Roll Wine – Following the first ever Rock ‘n Roll Wine Amp’d Festival which brought more than 2,900 Rock ‘n Roll Wine fans to the beach at Mandalay Bay for wine tasting and live music performances, the team behind Rock ‘n Roll Wine, releases the first vino from their Oregon winery, Amplified Wines. Chris Hammond and Sonny Barton are excited for the release of Reggae Rhapsody, the first wine to come out of their winery, Amplified Wines. Click to Read The Full Story …

Luxor Presents Hot International Latin And Ballroom Dance Sensation Burn The Floor – Displaying the talents and passions of the world’s best dancers, the sizzling dance sensation Burn The Floor debuts at Luxor Las Vegas. The high-energy, 70-minute show, seen by more than three million people in 32 countries, features a variety of dance styles, including salsa, samba, cha cha, tango and rhumba, all with a sexy, modern edge. “Burn The Floor combines elements of a rock n’ roll concert and Broadway theater with the sensual and dynamic energy of Latin and ballroom dance into a powerful, one-of-a-kind stage performance,” said Jason Gilkison, Burn The Floor’s director and choreographer and three-time World Champion Latin Ballroom dancer. Click to Read The Full Story and Buy Tickets …

Bobby Darin Turns Back the Clock in ‘Legends’ – Art Vargas Sings Pop Idol’s Classics in Celebrity Tribute Show – Audiences at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino’s “Legends in Concert” will relive the late ’50s and ’60s when Art Vargas re-creates Bobby Darin in the celebrity tribute show. Vargas will belt out Darin classics “Beyond the Sea,” “Dream Lover,” “Splish Splash” and “Mack the Knife.” Click to Read The Full Story and Buy Tickets …

Will He Leave His Heart At The Las Vegas Hitlon? – Tony Bennett, who has more than 100 recordings to his credit and has sold more than 50 million albums world-wide, will headline at the Las Vegas Hilton on Friday and Saturday, October 20 & 21 at 9 p.m. The 13-time Grammy winner celebrated his 80th birthday on August 3 and will have a new CD out on September 26, “TONY BENNETT DUETS: An American Classic.” Click to Buy Tony Bennett Tickets

Jeff Hobson ‘The Hilarious Host Of Las Vegas’ Plays In ‘V’ The Show – Emcee, Comical Magician Is The Glue That Holds “The Ultimate Variety Show” Together – Comedy/magician Jeff Hobson who likes to be known as “The Hilarious Host of Las Vegas” is no ordinary performer but has the ability to take a series of world-class acts and make them into an A+ show in “V — The Ultimate Variety Show” in the V Theatre at the Aladdin’s Desert Passage. Even though he’s one of the best watch thieves you will ever witness his most entertaining talent is hosting “V” with his comical barbs and lightning tongue. Click to Read The Full Story and Buy Tickets …

Manilow Tickets For 2007 – Tickets for the first four months of Barry Manilow’s 2007 schedule at the Las Vegas Hilton are on sale. Barry also has added four shows to his December 2006 schedule. Click for Barry Manilow Tickets!

Gambling Talk: Video Slots – I Dream of Jeannie – with Victor H. Royer. This terrific game from IGT comes packaged in hot pink, of course, with the cartoon illustration of Jeannie on the front of the machine’s cabinet. The game is a five line 9-reel video slot machine, which in this version features the Jeannie Bottle Bonus. You may have already played a similar game where there is a bonus wheel mounted at the top of the game, similar to the Wheel of Fortune game, also made by IGT. Click to Read Complete Article

Vegas Photo Set Of The Week: Paris Las Vegas – Paris Las Vegas Brings the Parisian Experience To Life. Guests Are Invited To Stroll Down the Cobblestone Sidewalks of the Shopping District Enjoy the 85 000-Square-Foot Casino Dine in One of the Resorts 8 Distinct French Restaurants Rejuvenate in the European Health Spa Relax by the Two-Acre Casino-Roof-Top Swimming Pool and Enjoy the Aroma of Freshly Baking Bread and European Coffees.

Vegas Streaming Video Of The Week – Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas. Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas is a place where the neon of the strip is just a soft glow. On the horizon at twilight, where the mountains serve as a Sweeping backdrop to mediterranean-inspired villas – abundant Foliage and majestic waters. Here – at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas – the world is your very own – as you indulge your senses in our spa, perfect your serve on our tennis courts or enjoy a few rounds of golf on exceptional championship courses.

  • Click To Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas:
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Members Mania – We Love Our Readers!

Readers Write:

Anne Rodger from Scotland who commented in your last newsletter that she has trouble getting a direct flight from Scotland may like to know that are starting a twice weekly flight from Glasgow to Las Vegas flying on Mondays and Fridays.


Alex Green

Can you tell me if Celine Dion will stil be performing next year (2007) at Ceasars Palace, as we have been trying to get to see her, but each time we get to Las Vegas she is on a break? We saw Elton John last year instead and he was brilliant.

Many thanks,

Christine (UK)

Is there a way to find out about Shows in Vegas for the week or Weeks we plan on being out there! We really try to come out to Vegas depending on who we can see! We love Comedians, Singers, Groups, Bands & Etc.!

Hope you can help us!


Ted Responds:

Our readers are the greatest! Thanks for the tip/info on the flights from Scotland.

Celine is indeed playing the first few months of 2007, and ticket are available (last chance to catch her show in the Las Vegas run):
Celine Dion Las Vegas Tickets

On the left hand side of our shows page at Las Vegas Shows, we have a shows search box for shows. Plus, our newsletter lists coming concerts to your right as you read this.

Hope this helps!

Live From Las Vegas,

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All contents copyright 2006 Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.

October 4, 2006 ISSN: 1529-2770 About Us

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Access Vegas Insider Vibe – March 7, 2001

WELCOME to Access Vegas News and Reviews, now with subscribers in 45 countries around the world! This is the official newsletter of We talk about the Las Vegas attractions, dining, and shows that YOU really care about.

This weekly newsletter is free and only sent to those who request it. If you receive this by mistake or wish off our list, simple unsubscribe instructions at the bottom. Feel free to forward this to friends and associates in its entirely. To subscribe, simply send a blank email to

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This Issue: EFX Alive

Curious about a show, restaurant, or other Las Vegas attraction that looks fun? Let us review it for you first! Suggestions are always welcome at:


EDITORS NOTE: It is a beautiful 74 and sunny here today after two weeks of mostly clouds and a number of days of actual rain. Two huge sporting events brought the spotlight to Las Vegas again this weekend: The NASCAR race as well as Holyfield vs. Ruiz made for a crowded weekend and sold out hotels.

LAS VEGAS NEWS – of interest to tourists:

RED DRAGON – If you have been in town past couple of weeks, you might have seen the new marquee of the Desert Inn aglow in neon reading “Red Dragon,” new red paint of the front of the building, and a flurry of activity out front looking like a casino grand opening. Truth be told, the film “Rush Hour 2” starring Jackie Chan has been shooting. Story at

STORM – Billed as a “combination live concert event, Broadway theatre experience, and Las Vegas dance spectacular,” this new show at Mandalay Bay opens March 22. The creative mind behind the show has worked with Britney Spears, American Music Awards, Ricky Martin, Madonna, Prince, and more. Band members have played with Ricky Martin and others. We saw 3 numbers at a media preview Tuesday, and the show looks like it has quite a bit of potential. One number features rain on stage, and actual (very light) snow falls on the audience later.

If you go see storm, I suggest sitting toward the back left side (as you face the stage) as one number has the singer suspended over the right side of the audience and another has extensive acrobatic action taking place over the most of the lower section. Until a full show review, I can’t say whether it is worth the $55 / $65 ticket price, but the show is heavily Latin influenced (including at least one number all in Spanish) so take your music and culture tastes into consideration.

NASCAR – Jeff Gordon took the lead with 20 laps to go at last weekend’s race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Stories about the race at:

THE MEXICAN – the new movie release (both partially shot and set in Las Vegas) is drawing some pretty nice reviews, one of which is at

JOHN RUIZ – defeated Evander Holyfield to become the new World Boxing Association champ last Saturday night at Mandalay Bay. Word is that he will fight Mike Tyson next. Stories at:

BRITNEY – Ms. Spears is going to turn her Nov. 18’th concert (much later this year) into a live HBO concert. Story at No ticket info available yet.

PLAYGROUND IN MY MIND – I’d tell you that this #1 hit from 1974 sung by (now) Harrah’s showroom entertainer Clint Holmes is readily found on Napster, but that would be wrong of me to encourage downloading it for free. However, if you can’t find it for sale anywhere, and are curious …



SHOW REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* Blue Man Group –
* De La Guarda –

SHOWS – See which shows are playing during your stay and book reservations EVEN if the tickets aren’t on sale yet. Let ShowVegas takes care of all your needs directly online! Search by dates at

SHOWS AND HEADLINERS – listings available at
CONCERT – listings available at

DINING RESERVATIONS – For a small service fee, you can now guarantee reservations for that “special night out” during your visit at

RESTAURANT REVIEWS – Recent reviews appearing in the media:

* India Oven (just west of The Sahara) –

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LAS VEGAS WEATHER – This 5 day forecast is courtesy of Weather.Com:

Friday – 68 ░F / 46 ░F Mostly Cloudy
Saturday – 62 ░F / 38 ░F Partly Cloudy
Sunday – 65 ░F / 40 ░F Scattered Showers
Monday – 70 ░F / 42 ░F Mostly Sunny
Thursday – 74 ░F / 45 ░F Mostly Sunny

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“Jesse was a friend …” sang Rick Springfield all over the radio during my high school years, and I was a fan of guitar driven rock. I think I still have a couple of his tapes somewhere. Almost 20 years later, Springfield is the latest star of the MGM’s spectacular EFX show taking over the reigns from Broadway legend Tommy Tune (who replaced teen idol David Cassidy, who replaced Michael Crawford). I’m sure they were after the very positive response David Cassidy got from audiences during his two year stint, but they goofed.

The show itself is still spectacular and one of the better staged shows for the money. Sal Salangsang does a hilarious pre-show warm-up (get seated 15 minutes early) and they have added him in a couple small parts throughout the show for comic relief. The trapeze artists in the P. T. Barnum act have been replaced with a dazzling act called “The Sphere” where a number of athletic circus performers hang and twist from a giant rotating sphere.

The Merlin act with the large animatronic dragons, fire, explosions, and great stunt work are still fantastic. The Houdini segment (the one act where Springfield shines as the infamous magician coming back from the dead for a momentary reuniting with his wife) contains the thrill of a great magic act woven into a touching story. And, the H. G. Wells act continues to contain the best 3-D film performance I have ever viewed.

The problem? Springfield. He practically sleepwalks through the first part of the Merlin act, where the lead flashes back to his childhood reminiscing about the expanse of life as well as bad dreams. Previous performers brought a contemplative, childlike feeling to it. Springfield might as well have been reading it off of cue cards. His acting throughout the rest of this act gives us an indication why his movie career never took off.

He redeemed himself in the Houdini segment. His soap opera experience served him well in the love scene and he played it in a heartfelt manner that would have been nice to see earlier. Maybe a rocker can’t play out a child’s fantasy. Unfortunately, we now know that a rocker can’t sing show tunes. Springfield’s voice is great for guitar heavy, rough singing but his limited range and raspy vocal qualities struggle on many of the songs (many of which have stayed with the show regardless of who plays the lead).

The low point? While he is in the audience during one number, he meets a “fan” whom he invites down on stage. This isn’t new — it has been a staple of EFX for quite some time. The “fan” is an audience plant who is “thrilled” to be meeting the star. In this case, the “fan” even has Springfield use her cell phone to call a friend at home who couldn’t believe what was happening. This bit plays on too long this time around and is so phony that a number of colleagues who were seeing the show for the first time could see it is fake. If you go, this is a perfect time to take a restroom break. Any time would be a perfect time for them to toss this bit and have Springfield take a little concert break and perform two or three of his hits. He does perform “The Human Touch” earlier in the show.

All is not lost. The basic tenants of the show are still spellbinding, from the huge stage sets to the amazingly creative “circus of the future” costumes to the effects which the show derives it’s name from. I last reviewed the show almost a year ago (archived at ), and my comments about the core show still hold true. At the basic price, EFX still delivers the most bang (literally) for the buck in it’s category. And, the standing ovation that Springfield received from women in the audience who probably went to high school about the same time I did suggest a dimension that I am not equipped to appreciate.

EFX Ticket Info

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Julie wrote:

>My fiance and I are trying to plan a wedding for November of 2001 in
>Vegas.á Anyone out here have any tips as to chapels included in a
>hotel?á We will be coming from Wisconsin, with about 20 couples and
>still have not found decent airfare.á We were told November is the
>least expensive month in Vegas.á I would appreciate any help I can get
>to pull this off.á Thanks a lot.

November is the month of Comdex (usually second week of the month) and Thanksgiving weekend, both bringing sold out hotels and high prices. Plus, with the winter months really kicking in up north, many are looking to escape the cold. If you are still flexible, try every different set of arrival and departure days you can make work in your quest for low airfare. Obviously, the sooner you book the better. While I hate to turn away business, a travel agent might be able to arrange a group rate for hotel and air for a party that large and do your research for you.

A few months ago, we queried our readers who got married in Las Vegas, and were flooded with responses which we posted at With so many thousands of new readers on board, this is a good time to point that page out!

Patricia and Doug Davis wrote:

>Can you tell me where we might find the Las Vegas Show Girls (the ones
>like you used to see on TV way back when)?á This is our first trip and
>we would like to see the costumes and pretty ladies dancing on stage.
>I can’t find anything like what I’m thinking about on the web.á I can
>find “ladies in drag,” but we would like to see something like the
>original Vegas Ladies, with their pretty clothes, headdresses, etc.

We have you covered! The two traditional Las Vegas shows left featuring what you describe are Jubilee at Bally’s and Follies Bergere at the Tropicana. Splash at the Riviera and American Superstars (one of the best show values in town) both feature showgirls but not to the same extent. We have archived newsletters with reviews of each:

Jubilee –
Follies Bergere –
Splash –
American Superstars –

Zachary Lee wrote:

>First off, thanks for running a great newsletter, it’s given me a lot
>of great ideas for my upcoming visit to the city of lights.á I just
>had a few questions before i go out there on the 16’th of march thru
>the 21st.á My friend and I love a good blues club- y’know dark, good
>ambiance, and a great blues band to top it off.á We heard about
>Aladdin’s blue note, but I was wondering if you thought it was best.
>If not, how about some suggestions?á Also, we plan to go to a few
>nightclubs.á We heard the voodoo lounge, drink, and Rumjungle were
>good, but again we were wondering what you thought.á Any tips you’ve
>got are well received here.

I have not yet been to Blue Note, but hear it is worth checking out. They have name acts virtually every single night, so expect to pay a concert ticket price. Let us know your impressions if you go! As for nightclubs, The Drink caters to a younger, crazier crowd, Rumjungle has the “beautiful people” (and a line to match at the door) and Voodoo lounge is upscale and a little more subdued but with possibly the best view in town. All are worth checking out — go to the one or two that would be the best fit for you.

Lorrie wrote:

>I hear there is a restaurant designed by Steven Spielberg called the
>Dive.á Supposed to look like a submarine and every so often they’re
>supposed to have pretend submerges.á My husband was a submariner.á We
>are going to Las Vegas in 2 weeks.á How is the food, etc.?á Lorrie

The Dive sunk (closed) last December. Interesting surroundings, great location, but overpriced food (that wasn’t very good).

Tony Padula wrote:

>Hi, Just returned from my annual 2 week stay in Vegas, and had the
>unpleasant experience of getting ill, thought I too had the flu, and
>when not able to shake the feeling decided to visit the emergency room
>at the University Hospital on Charleston.á What an experience that
>waiting room was at 11 o’clock at night.á I wouldn’t recommend it to
>anyone who can afford to see a private doctor.á The wait was an
>experience, but I must say once I got inside, the doctor, who turned
>out to be a practicing nurse (whatever that is), and the other staff
>members were very pleasant and comforting.á I guess I’m getting too
>old to handle 2 weeks in Las Vegas, probably not being a big gambler,
>got sick losing the little bit of money I did gamble away.á They must
>find a way to eliminate the traffic problems they are experiencing
>there.á A bus ride on the strip is an ever ending adventure of stop
>and go, with red lights, jay walkers, and cars.á You really get a long
>ride (time wise), for your $2.00.á Speaking of good buys for your
>money, Stardust has a $2.00 off coupon on 4 very good meal items.
>Westward Ho has a nickel cup of very good coffee, plus a 75 cent foot
>long hot dog, plus other great items, Klondike has a very inexpensive
>food menu, with 10 cent roulette.á As you can see as a visitor with
>limited spending ability, I was able to find all the better deals that
>the normal 4 or 5 day tourist isn’t looking for.
>áá I enjoy your newsletter.á Keep up the good work.

University Medical Center is a highly rated hospital, but it is also a public hospital which can mean long waits for illness that isn’t life threatening while they treat the latest gangbanger who got shot. As for transportation, the monorail is coming but for now you have a tradeoff: the bus is cheap, but very slow. Taxis aren’t cheap at all. Rental cars are a good option when time is more important than money plus you can take all the back roads.

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Your input is welcome. Write us a “letter to the editor” at While space doesn’t permit publishing every letter, we do certainly read them all and they help shape our content. Please include your name if you wish to have it published (stating your city is optional). Also, guest article submissions are welcome with full credit to you, your website, etc., if accepted.



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BLUE MAN GROUP – is sending one lucky winner and a friend to the end of the Las Vegas strip to see the show that TIME Magazine calls, “a milestone… the hippest show in Vegas.”

Grand Prize includes:

Round trip air transportation for two to Vegas.
Two nights stay at the Luxor Las Vegas.
Two tickets to Blue Man Group – Live at Luxor.

Five additional winners will receive Blue Man Group merchandise packages including Blue Man Group’s debut album, AUDIO, in DVD 5.1 Surround Sound Mix!

Enter at

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ONLINE POLL – Who (if anyone) do you come to Las Vegas with? Let’s hear your opinion at — results will be published soon! (There is a glitch in the software, and we can’t change the question this week.)

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Have a request for a review? Boggled when you come to town and see the hundreds of dining, attraction, and show opportunities? Let us know what you’d like to hear about! Unlike the tourist magazines where all of the “articles” are really paid ads, we give you the honest scoop. If you appreciate this service, please consider booking your rooms and rental cars for ALL destinations with us at You get secure ordering with the convenience and savings of booking online!

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New to the list? Back issues and subscription info can be found on the web at:

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All contents copyright MM Ted Newkirk. All Rights Reserved.
March 7, 2001 ISSN: 1529-2770